RPBR is a local community peace initiative founded in 1998 during periods of widespread insurgencies in the Rwenzori region. It is a network of grassroots community organisations and peace clubs and was formed with the aim of changing peoples’ attitudes and behavior in conflict, demanding their rights using nonviolent methods, promoting a spirit of reconciliation and using peaceful means of conflict resolution. The organisation has been engaged in various activities within the Rwenzori region that are aimed at fostering peace, community conflict resolution, address past violations and community grievances through national and local structures.
Rwenzori Peace Bridge of Reconciliation (RPBR) conducts mediation training and facilitates constructive dialogue between rival ethnic, political and other social groups within the Rwenzori region. RPBR conducts peace and reconciliation meetings and programmes for economic empowerment, research and literacy. They also offer legal aid and training for counselors, and manage trauma healing and peace clinic.
Peace training, conflict resolution and management
RPBR works to promote a culture of non-violence, reconciliation and harmonious living among the communities of the Rwenzori region. One particular programme called the School & Youth Outreach Programme (SYOP) is to support peace clubs in schools. It also promotes the creation of clubs for girls who are not attending school, for friendship and mutual support, basic literacy, and sex/AIDS/hygiene/childcare education.
Youth work and functional adult literacy education
The aim is to provide knowledge and vocational skills to those who have not been able to go to school. This will enable them engage in various economic activities that will lead to improved livelihoods and development. RPBR has a library of reading books which member groups can borrow. The organisation supports member groups in developing micro-credit and savings schemes. RPBR has also established a youth vocational training centre at Rwesande, one of the remote areas in Kasese District. The Peace and Life Skills Development Centre (PLSDC), Rwesande provides vocational skills to child mothers for purposes of empowering them economically to break child sexual abuse vicious circle the young generation is faced with.
Resource centre (RPBR peace & literacy library)
This is a reference and research facility on peace, conflict resolution and management, human rights, democracy and good governance related topics. RPBR also has educational books for school and college students to use.
Human rights and social justice
RPBR carries out campaigns against torture, corruption and social injustice with the aim of promoting dialogue, respect for human rights and public accountability. RPBR set up a network of peace monitors to assist with individual cases at grassroots level.
RPBR is currently working on two initiatives:
- A three years programme Reducing Levels of Violence at all levels in Kasese (RELEVIKA) . It is focusing on domestic violence reduction, school strikes reduction and election violence during the 2016 elections. The programme aims at increasing RPBR’s collaboration with different stakeholders in addressing issues of conflict in Rwenzori region.
- Strengthening citizens Participation in Uganda legislation processes in Kasese District: the PULP project aims at increasing community awareness of existing restrictive laws and enhance citizens’ participation in future law making processes to influence reforms for improved human rights protection and promotion in Kasese District.